Written by: Robert L. Buzzendore, Esquire
A home inspection is usually standard protocol when a buyer intends to purchase a home. The purpose of the inspection is to determine if there are material defects. Even though a seller disclosure statement is required with the Agreement of Sale to disclose material defects, sellers are not always honest. A home inspection can provide additional assurance the home is satisfactory.
The selection of a reputable home inspection company is very important. The inspector should be qualified, insured and reputable. A poorly performed inspection will not assist a buyer.
If an inspection has not been properly performed, a buyer has limited time to file suit against the home inspection company. The law states “an action to recover damages arising from a home inspection report must be commenced within one year after the date the report is delivered.” The appeals court recently clarified that this means suit must be filed within one year after the home inspection company delivers the report and not within one year after an issue is discovered. This is a crucial distinction.
If, for example, an inspection report stating no defects in the foundation is delivered on January 1, 2023, and if a buyer discovers a foundation defect on January 2, 2024 and files suit the same day, the buyer’s suit would be dismissed because it was not filed within one year of the inspection report delivery date.
The limited time to file suit suggests buyers need to be diligent in observing conditions in the home, remaining cognizant that legal action must be filed against the home inspection company within one year of the delivery of the report.
 Tibbitt v. Eagle Home Inspections, LLC., No. 1474 WDA 2022, Superior Court of Pennsylvania, October 30, 2023.